The Holy Spirit, Union with Christ, and Bodily Resurrection

Modern books on pneumatology often open by either lamenting the lack of attention given to the Holy Spirit or celebrating a relatively recent interest in his person and work. Some traditions focus on the Spirit’s present work in the saint’s soul but underemphasize his present and future work in the saint’s body. However, a diminished view of the life to come will likely obscure aspects of the Spirit’s present work and the significance of human embodiment. The bodily resurrection of the saints completes salvation and underscores embodied glory as God’s design for his image bearers.
In this paper, I will argue that the Spirit’s work in the saints’ bodily resurrection completes his saving works in them and catalyzes the fulfillment of God’s ultimate purpose for creation. I will synthesize material from Geerhardus Vos, Herman Bavinck, and Sinclair Ferguson to demonstrate the Spirit’s work in the believer’s union with Christ, culminating in the saints’ bodily resurrection. Exegesis of Romans 8:11–30 will support this view and highlight the relationship between bodily resurrection and creation’s renewal, rendering the purpose of God complete in the new heavens and new earth. I will conclude with brief implications and application of this theology for personal sanctification and pastoral care.

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